Hi there, my name is Mandy Hedley and I am proud to say that I lead Boots’ ‘Store of the Year 2016’ in Lancaster.
I would like to share my brilliant experience with you as I smile every time I think about it, and have loved every day I’ve worked for the company so far; my husband says if I had a manufacturers label it would say “made in Boots” and I don’t disagree with him.
It all began in Blackpool when I joined the company 28 years ago as a temporary fragrance consultant for Christmas. I was instantly welcomed and something just felt so right, at the end of the day I stood on the front door and said goodnight to all the customers and I knew this was the start of an amazing journey.
Have you ever felt like you really fit in somewhere just by being yourself? Well that’s how it was for me. I quickly moved into a permanent fragrance consultant role and was keen to get great results as I wanted to give something back; the way Boots made me feel gave me a unique passion and I longed to be successful.
I was keen to give a special service and soon built up my own loyal customer file, I worked hard and was 100% committed. The supervisor of the department left and of course I wanted that job more than anything, the dark blue suit was ordered, I was promoted and another chapter began.
I worked across different areas within store until I was granted my first Store Manager position at our Cleveleys store, 18 years ago!
I was so proud to be handed the keys and decided I would turn it into a little palace. I worked hard to refit the store and changed it to reflect my ambitions and soon became well known in the town. I guess the highlight for me was turning on the towns Christmas lights after being in place for 6 months. I sat in a landau with the Mayor, bursting with pride and even though it was only two chains of lights on either side of the street I felt like I’d started the Macy’s parade.
My journey continued and I managed several stores, always wanting to make them my own, Boots by Mandy Hedley, always improving the offer, caring for the store team and its customers.
I would get to know the town and its people and set the Hedley standard in my store, my vision seemed to fit like a glove with that of the company and I seemed to move on every time to a bigger and better challenge working with brilliant teams of people and loving every minute of it but most importantly always being allowed to be me.
I returned to Blackpool eight years ago, but this time as the Store Leader and spent five happy years there. It felt a little strange at first, I had a vivid memory as a Christmas temp, and I always wondered what went on behind the manager’s door. I wanted everyone to know what I was about as the leader, so I decided to move into an office with a window on the door, so everyone could see exactly what I was doing.
I have a very strong team ethic and spend most of my time on the sales floor, I am one of the team and to me I am no more important than any other person, we are all equal and everyone is 100% involved and appreciated.
I work with some amazing people in Lancaster, it’s like a second family and so when we were announced as ‘Store of the Year’ it really meant a lot to all of us. Some people say your life is mapped out for you and I am so pleased that my map led me to apply to Boots.
I would not change one day of my working life over the past 28 years.
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